Play penned by secondary students notes Ireland’s failure to welcome refugees

Posted on: 16 June 2017

A new play which aimed to showcase how development education, human rights education, critical global learning is increasingly at the heart of good education was recently performed in Samuel Beckett theatre in Trinity College Dublin.   

The play, entitled Éire: Land of a Hundred Thousand Welcomes, looks critically and dramatically at Ireland’s failure to welcome the refugees who arrive on these shores focusing particularly on the direct provision system.

The play was written and performed by the students of Mount Temple Comprehensive School and directed by teacher Laura Doak.

The play is at times a very disturbing piece of theatre, developed in a collaboration between a small group of students and their teacher engaged in the process of critical global learning.

According to the Principal of Mount Temple Comprehensive Liam Wegimont, “The play is a powerful example of student-led global learning. It deals with difficult, critical issues in a way that deepens our understanding of the causes and effects of injustice, and links local and global, personal and social dimensions of a key issue for our time.”

The School of Education at Trinity College has a long history of work in the area of development education on its teacher education programmes. 

Assistant Professor at the Trinity School of Education Dr Ann Devitt said “Education is more than the state exams. Education is about enabling the expansion of students’ creativity and horizons.  In a world where access to information is almost a given, it is our ability to evaluate and draw informed conclusions which is important. 

“School classrooms are safe environments where we can develop our critical skills and tackle the many controversial issues which beset our planet. This play and the work of our student teachers illustrate how this can happen successfully across a range of curriculum areas.”

The event also featured the student teachers and graduates of the Professional Master of Education programmes in Trinity College Dublin and their peers from the National College of Art and Design presenting their implementation of classroom global learning.

Development Education elective coordinator and Mount Temple teacher Mary Elaine Tynan said, “Throughout their educational journey, young people in Ireland are learning in creative ways about the causes and effects of injustice and inequality, are learning together about how change might occur, and are imagining alternatives.  Development education, human rights education, critical global learning is increasingly at the heart of good education.”

This showcase was a collaboration between the Trinity School of Education, the Ubuntu Network, and Mount Temple Comprehensive School and will celebrate the work of teachers and students in the areas of best developmental education and critical global learning.

The Ubuntu Network supports the integration of Development Education into post-primary Initial Teacher Education. Ubuntu is funded by Irish Aid. The ideas, opinions and comments herein are entirely the responsibility of the author(s) and do not represent or reflect Irish Aid policy.

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